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Published January 18 2012

Second LP-A girls’ coach pleads guilty

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – A second Lake Park-Audubon girls’ basketball coach accused of fondling one of two 17-year-old players in 2009 has pleaded guilty to misconduct of a public officer or employee.

Darrin Alan Myhre, 30, pleaded guilty to the gross misdemeanor Wednesday in Stearns County District Court in St. Cloud.

Sentencing was set for April 26.

Under the plea agreement, Myhre must serve no more than 10 days in jail, register as a predatory offender for 10 years and have no contact with the players, Assistant County Attorney Joshua Kannegieter said.

Myhre was the assistant coach under head coach Andrew Patrick Schwan, 34, who pleaded guilty to the same charge in November under a similar plea agreement. His sentencing is set for March 15.

Prosecutors allege that the coaches gave alcohol to two of their players and that each girl was fondled by one of the coaches Dec. 29, 2009, at a hotel in St. Cloud, where the team was staying while playing in a tournament in Upsala.

Schwan and Myhre resigned as coaches and teachers at LP-A shortly after St. Cloud police began investigating the allegations on Feb. 8, 2010. Each coach faced a felony charge of criminal sexual conduct in addition to the misconduct charge.

Like Schwan, Myhre had to make specific admissions in court as part of the plea agreement.

Myhre acknowledged he took part in a sexual conversation between Schwan and the two girls and was present when Schwan offered alcohol to one of the girls. He also admitted to being alone in the room with one of the girls, pushing her onto the bed and playfully whipping her with a piece of clothing, Kannegieter said.

“He acknowledged that he inappropriately touched one of the victims in the area of her intimate parts,” Kannegieter said. “He, like Mr. Schwan, denied doing that with sexual intent.”

Prosecutors believe the convictions will hurt the coaches’ ability to keep their teaching licenses, Kannegieter said, although he noted that decision ultimately rests with state licensing officials.

Reached by phone, Myhre referred questions to his attorney, Ken Kohler, who could not be reached for comment.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528